Consultant Profile: Denise Weeks
Area Center: Sumter
Title: Business Consultant
Start Date: May 30, 2019
QUESTION: What was your career track prior to joining the SC SBDC network?
ANSWER: I returned to Sumter after a 30-year adventure to resume the legacy my mother had in the real estate business for the past 20 years. I graduated from USC, and with an MBA from Winthrop before becoming a military spouse and frequently relocating throughout the U.S. and Asia. The call of entrepreneurship kept me in beautiful Destin, Florida, where I owned a fabulous boutique for 13 years. The customer service skills that I cultivated there serve as the foundation for successful real estate sales….imagine selling to brides and their mothers every day. Listening to what individuals want and meeting those expectations sustained me in business and at Florida State University where I obtained a PhD in Merchandising and Product Development.
QUESTION: What motivated you to become an SC SBDC consultant?
ANSWER: I love the entrepreneurial spirit; the passion for what they are doing.
QUESTION: What is the best piece of advice you would offer an aspiring business owner?
ANSWER: Do your research. Know everything you can about your customer and your industry and never become complacent.
QUESTION: What particular area of interest/expertise do you offer your clients?
ANSWER: Extensive consumer behavior research.
QUESTION: Since becoming an SC SBDC consultant, what is your greatest achievement?
ANSWER: Watching a young client open the door to a new location and then hire more employees.
QUESTION: Why is the SBDC an important resource for small business owners in South Carolina?
ANSWER: There are experts in every type of industry available. No client has to enter into any endeavor without a team of SC SBDC consultants assisting them.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for the SC SBDC?
ANSWER: No two clients or businesses are the same. Each one comes with its own set of challenges.
QUESTION: What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered while working as a consultant? How did you overcome it?
ANSWER: Many clients come to us after their business has begun to fail. Oftentimes that is too late for us to help them. We definitely can help businesses that are having difficulty, but they need to come to us at the first sign of difficulty so we can help them turn their business around and avoid the heartbreak and financial strain of losing a business.